New terminal in Tuan Chau tourist port

Tuan Chau international tourist port has officially put the new station into operation.

Tuan Chau wharf

Tuan Chau wharf

The new station was built on the ground of the old station, which was invested, renovated and expanded with professional design, with the total floor area of over 8,000 m2, more than 1,000 seats and can receive about 3,000 visitors at the same time waiting for boarding the cruise to visit Halong Bay.

To meet the needs of tourists, as well as creating the best conditions for the implementation of service units working in the port, the port management unit has arranged the station according to functional areas. Specifically, the area for procedures are widely arranged with modern equipment, to meet the needs of the work force at ports such as inland waterway, Halong Bay Management Board, Port management…

Besides, the new terminal also has a supermarket, children’s play areas, health centers, tradition music performance, post office and travel information areas. To assist passengers about schedules to visit Ha Long Bay, the new station is equipped with large screen monitor, continuously posting information about services, provide drinking water machine, free cold towels for tourists.


Fly to Halong bay on a day trip

Halong travel

Halong travel

You are planning to visit Halong bay but your time is limited, the best way to enjoy the beauty of Halong bay in a tight time frame is by seaplane. You can save the cost by flying one way in stead of a return trip. Halong junk cruise.

Halong bay is famous as the top destination in Vietnam and travelers cannot miss it if you have a chance to visit Vietnam. A typical trip to Halong usually last 2 days 1 night or 3 days 2 nights, staying on board the cruiser. Travel time by car to and from Halong is 4 hours each way, it takes almost a half day to drive from Hanoi. In order to renew the itinerary, besides means by road travelers can travel by seaplanes, a new service launched in September 2014. Depending on your needs, conditions and amount of time you can take one of three choices below:

Option 1: Money is not problem
To save your time, you can book a return trip Hanoi – Halong – Hanoi, there are 2 trips a day departing at 9.00 and 12.45. Depending on your timing you can catch a taxi to Noi Bai airport, to Terminal T1 and do check-in procedures at counter 10, lobby A.

In the 60 minute flight Hanoi to Halong, travelers will have a chance to watch the panorama view of Halong bay on high at 500 – 3000 m. In your sight is thousands of limestone rocks jutting high from the tranquil blue water. The seaplane will then land at Tuan Chau island and return at 11.30 and 16.00 daily.
However you should not return right away but book a 4 hours cruise in Halong bay and have lunch on board, about 50 usd only and you will have a memorable experience with a Vietnamese style lunch in the middle of the bay, admire the caves and grottoes, kayaking among the blue lagoons.

Minimum time: 1 full day
Total cost: 800 usd (Road transfers, seaplane, food, cruise)

Option 2: Moderate cost
To save your expense, you can choose to fly one way from Hanoi to Halong and then return by bus, the itinerary is similar as above, but after landing you are free to schedule your time to explore and have fun.

Nearest place is Tuan Chau entertainment resort island, you can catch a taxi from Halong city to Tuan Chau island, buy entrance tickets 15 usd/person, there are many performances such as dolphins, crocodiles, water music…. You can also visit the outdoor entertainment area and test your ability with activities like windsurfing, canoeing, parachuting, watersliding motor…
Tuan Chau food area is also a suitable choice to have lunch without moving much, you can enjoy various dishes from 7 usd per person. At about 17.00 you can catch a taxi to the island’s entrance for a bus trip back to Hanoi, fares is 5 usd/person

Minimum time: 1 full day
Total cost: about 500 usd (Road transfer, lunch, seaplane)

Option 3: Saving
The best way to not have to spend too much money but still be able to admire Halong bay from on high is travel to Halong by road and book a tour by flight in 25 minutes. From Hanoi you drive to Tuan Chau island in 3 hours. The seaplane will depart and return to starting point at the end of the trip around the islands in Halong bay. There are 3 flights a day at 10.30 14.00 and 14.40. Depending on your arrival time in Tuan Chau island and flight schedule you can arrange lunch before or after the flight tour. For the night you can book a hotel or guesthouse in Bai Chay area, rates 20 – 25 usd/room.

Minimum time: 2 days
Total cost: 350 usd (Road transfer, lunch, seaplane)

Note: We recommend that you come early as the booking will close 25 minutes before departure time
Baggage allowance 20 kg per person
On holidays the seaplane may apply surcharge, you can change flight time but it is subject to availability.


Booking a Halong bay cruise

Halong bay is the top destination in vietnam and Halong cruises is a must for all visitors. In this article I would like to share some experience to arrange a trip to Halong bay by yourself.

Halong cruise

Halong cruise

As there are a lot of cruises in Halong bay serving all types of tourists, each cruiser has it’s good points and depending on your budget travelers can choose the most suitable for your trip.

Most cruises in Halong tour have their own website and you can make a booking online through the web. There are some things you need to be aware:

Online booking – Booking the trip directly with the cruiser via official website is more expensive than you book through an online travel agent, this is a normal practice in Vietnam tourism industry as the cruise companies usually offer a better price for travel agents. However not all travel agents are reliable and passengers may find themselves end up on another cruiser and not the one they have been confirmed. My advise is book directly with the cruiser, price is higher however your trip is secured and you will get what you paid for.

Transport to and from Halong bay: Most cruises offer bus service roundtrip as part of the package, passengers will be picked up from different hotels in Hanoi centre, some high class cruises charge an additional cost for the transfers, travelers can also arrange their transport by themselves, it takes about 4 hours drive each way with 30 minutes stop at a shopping centre, if you are on a family trip with children we recommend that you rent a private car, about 150 usd for a 2 day trip and thus you can start at your convenience.

Cruising itinerary: Each cruise company built their own itinerary however the programs are pretty similar, the cruise will cover the best part of Halong bay such as Fighting cock islet, Heavenly cave or Amazing cave, a short visit to a fishing village and then to Titop island beach for swimming. If you take a 3 day tour the whole second day will be kayaking or other activities, travelers will be sent to a smaller boat going further out to different part of Halong bay for kayaking, swimming or relax at an isolated island beach and return to mother cruiser at the end of the day. Some companies extend the itinerary to Lan Ha bay or Cat Ba island, staying overnight at hotel in Cat Ba island and go trekking the next day in Cat Ba national park. Visitors can also choose to stay at a beach resort bungalow such as Monkey island resort, Cat Ong resort or Suoi Goi eco lodge resort. As Halong bay has become touristy in recent years more cruisers have change their itinerary to Bai Tu Long bay which is more natural and still unspoilt by tourism.

Food and drinks: Halong is a sea bay and no wonder food served on cruise ship is mostly seafood with fish, crabs or sentinel, prawn, squid…The food on board is cooked in Vietnamese style, you can also request other things like beef, chicken or pork when you make a booking, vegetarian food is also available. For cheap and midrange cruises, food is served for the whole group on a big table, food is nice but maybe not enough for all. Some cruisers like Indochina arrange dinners in the cave with candle light that is a very nice experience, other boats organize BBQ lunch at a beach. Drinks on board are not included and it is pretty expensive compared to average price on shore. Wines and fizzy drinks are available at bar on the cruiser and travelers are recommended to check price before you order.


Halong bay in north Vietnam

Halong overview

Halong overview

The north of Vietnam offers many different superb holiday destinations as well as many different types of holiday. Halong bay overnight cruises The country’s capital city, Hanoi, is of course in the north and is an excellent choice for anyone interested in Asian cities. It’s architecture is amazing with many delightful French colonial buildings blending perfectly with the older Eastern architecture and the modern glass towers. The Old Quarter here is a wonderful place to spend time. Bohemian by nature its many art-house style coffee shops, bars and restaurants are fascinating to visit. This part of town is becoming recognised as the artistic capital of Southeast Asia with many galleries and art collectives now finding permanent residence in the city.

Sapa of course is easily attainable from Hanoi. The overnight train drops travelers off in the early morning ready for a fleet of minibuses to shepherd them into the hilltop town. From here trekkers head out in voyages of discovery into the exquisite surrounding countryside. Hill side rice terraces form a wonderful backdrop to any walking holiday here. Many choose to climb Mount Fansipan, Vietnam’s highest peak. The mountains here are actually the southern most part of the Himalayas.

Islands in Halong bay All of these superb destinations are among the biggest tourist attractions in the country. It would take something very special indeed to top them. That they are topped, is testament to one of the greatest holiday experiences in the world. Halong Bay, is quite simply, heaven on Earth. Five hundred million years in the making, this six hundred square mile paradise is home to an abundance of rare flora and fauna, some of the greatest scenery imaginable and people who have lived their lives in much the same way, for centuries.

Halong Bay has won just about every accolade that is available to it. A UNESCO World Heritage Site, it is also one of the “Seven Wonders of Nature” voted for in a global poll. The most popular and by far the best way to see the bay, is to book a cruise on one of the many cruise boats that ply their trade in the area. These are of an exceptionally high standard and offer comfort to the standard of four or five start hotels. Sipping a cocktail on the top deck off one of these vessels, whilst watching the sun bid farewell to the day, in Halong Bay, has to be one of life’s great experiences.

The bay has almost two thousands islands, most are no more than limestone karst formations that jut imperiously out of the water and tower above the boats. Many cannot be landed, but those that can offer delightful beaches, magnificent views and mysterious caves. The cruise companies offer holiday makers the choice of either 5 star total relaxation or adventure on a grand scale. Many choose to go swimming, kayaking, canoeing, snorkeling, scuba diving, rock climbing, trekking, fishing or all of the aforementioned. Late night beach barbecues and party boats are also very popular.


Unforgettable Halong Bay trip

If you have booked a trip to Halong Bay or are seriously considering visiting this amazing place, I have to congratulate you. You have made an excellent choice. Put simply, it is a feast for the senses. If you have ever wanted to visit a place that engages on you on many different levels-intellectually, visually, audibly, among many others, you couldn’t have picked a better place. Halong Bay offers a majestic coastline that features many islands that seem to float off the water. The coastline also has great sand you can talk about for months after your trip. There are also sleepy coastal fishing villages that harken back to a long-lost era. All these sights, sounds, smells, and touch add up to a distinctly ethereal out of this world adventure. This isn’t your typical sun, surf, and sand water adventure. No. It goes much deeper and further. Halong cruises is like peering into one’s psyche-traces of the past, hints of the future, and a heaping dose of the unfolding mysteries of the present all rolled up into one exploration you won’t soon forget. If you want a truly luxurious Halong Bay stay, follow the tips below. Halong bay trip from Hanoi

Luxury as simplicity

Halong travel

Halong travel

There are many ways to define ‘luxury.’ Indeed, the number of definitions seem to only depend on the number of people doing the defining. Still, the vast majority of definitions cluster around the idea of excess. There is this creeping idea that for something to be luxurious, it has to be more. Halong Bay turns this idea on its head. Real luxury is not about heaping servings or chewing on more than you can swallow or swimming in excess, Halong Bay’s luxury is more Buddhist in nature. The old Zen maxim of ‘less is more,’ is definitely in play when it comes to Halong Bay caves. There is a certain richness you can’t find elsewhere in viewing mist roll in through Halong Bay and slowly swallow the tops of islands as you sit on the shore. There is an unmistakable sense of affluence that emanates from trekking up the side of a mountain and gazing down into a sea of green dotted by tall limestone islands. Luxury, is all about simplicity not excess. Real beauty, like that of a woman, doesn’t come from the rich gold, sapphire, emerald, and jade baubles she’s wearing. Real beauty comes from her imperfections-quirky smile, off kilter looks, awkward laugh. Enjoying Halong Bay and truly tapping into its very essence is the height of luxury. There is no need to prove anything to anyone at anytime. Things just are. And that is what is so beautiful and so rare about this place. It is as if nature itself gave the world a rare gift that few people have bothered to find out about.

The value of fragile memory
There is a fragile quality to Halong Bay. From its views to the experiences it provides. One second, you are climbing up a hill to see a better view of the coast. The next second, mist, rain, or something else happens and the view has changed. You are forced to live for the moment, and that is the true beauty. It offers a magical snapshot into your very being-one second at a time.


Visit Halong bay by sea plane

Seaplane in Halong bay

Seaplane in Halong bay

Visitors have the opportunity to experience flight from Noi Bai – Halong by seaplane to fully enjoy Halong Bay scenery from a height of 150m – 300m for 250 usd/person/way

This is a new service in directed toward international customers from Europe, America, Australia, Japanese and Vietnam. Halong bay trips

Ha Quang Long, director of Quang Ninh’s Culture, Information and Tourism said seaplane service in Halong bay is a creative idea, contributing to attracting more tourists to Halong.

Travelling by seaplane, visitors can save travel time from Hanoi to Halong and also have a chance to behold the panorama view of Halong bay on high.

This service is provided with Cessna Grand Caravan from US, the plane has maximum capacity 12 passengers, average speed 300 km/hour, the seaplane can take off and land on ordinary airport or water surface in the sea, river and lake.

With the completion of legal procedures and permits for the first flight Hanoi to Ha Long and arrangement of pilots including 1 international captain 1 Vietnamese pilot trained in Australia, the seaplane service is expected to put into operation in September and the transport company also plans to buy more aircraft in the future.

At the moment the fastest way to travel from Hanoi to Halong bay is by helicopter, tourists will start the trip from a military airport in Hanoi and reach Halong city in 45 hour.

Air taxi service was introduced by Northern Flight Service Company in order to serve the needs of travellers who have little time and prefer some convenience. Helicopter service to visit Halong bay was launched in 2008, it cost aprox 550 usd/person (round trip) and 350 usd/person (one way). Halong sightseeing fees is 110 usd/person.

According to the schedule, every 15 minutes there will be a flight from Hanoi to Halong, each carrying a maximum of 5 passengers and 2 pilots. Reception point is Ha Long Royal International Park (Bai Chay tourist site)


Quang Ninh authorities control cruise ships

Halong tourist wharf

Halong tourist wharf

Determining the importance of boat travel in the plan to effectively and sustainably exploit Halong bay, Quang Ninh inland waterway Port Authority has implemented reorganization of cruise ships providing sightseeing and accommodation in Halong bay. According to the plan, owners of the cruises operating on the bay will register with the Port Authority on the day before departure. The cruisers serving walk-in visitors will be arranged to dock in turn and board according to the number of passenger tickets.

After a month of implementation, this plan has basically solved the problem of overcharging and scrambling tourists wishing to rent a boat to visit the vay, ensuring the departure time in good order, not letting the disorder situation at the port area, at the same time help the authorites better manage activities of tourists, contribute to improving the business environment in the area, improve traffic safety, creating positive images for travelers to visit Halong bay.

Tran Manh Tuan, a visitor from Hanoi said: “I have been to Halong a couple of times, however this time the arrangement is much better, more convenient and effective, I bought tickets at the whaft and was given proper information to get on board, especially I didn’t have to avoid touts from middle men, they seem to have disappeared”

Speaking about the rearrangement of Halong cruises of Quang Ninh Waterway Port Authority, Mr Vinh of Toan Thang cruise ships said “Being a business owner operating in Halong bay I find this solution very good, our crew members no longer have to hunt customers like before because there is a specific calendar with times and order” However, in the process of implementing the initial plan was that there are problems such as the subscription period on the afternoon of the day before the tours start which is very difficult for ships to serve tourists. However we have got used to it after a month.

Reportedly, Quang Ninh authorities have developed many training sessions before putting the new plan into operation, informing cruise owners about rights and duties to perform and thus clearly defined functions and responsibilities of the agencies and units involved in the organization of registration, performing pick up or drop off passengers, sale of passenger tickets at the port. Also, listen to the opinions and wishes of the ship owners to come to the agreement, give timely adjustments, ensuring better serve tourists to Halong Bay.